New Delhi: Unhappy over wastage of Monsoon Session of Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday hit out at BJP, saying its obstructionist politics amounts to "total negation" of democracy and is hurting efforts to revive growth besides weakening the country. Noting that the country is faced with several challenges on security and economic front, Singh said the government can rebuild growth momentum but is "constantly distracted by the actions of those who prefer obstruction over discussion".
As turmoil-ridden session ended, he warned that the politics of disruption would be a "grave violation" of democracy and could lead to "deeply divided and disenchanted" country.
He promised that issues raised in the CAG report over coal block allocation would not be swept under the carpet and whatever corrective action is necessary will be taken.
New Delhi: Unhappy over wastage of Monsoon Session of Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday hit out at BJP, saying its obstructionist politics amounts to "total negation" of democracy and is hurting efforts to revive growth besides weakening the country.
Noting that the country is faced with several challenges on security and economic front, Singh said the government can rebuild growth momentum but is "constantly distracted by the actions of those who prefer obstruction over discussion".
CAG report on coal allocation should be debated: PM
Speaking to reporters and later in a message to the nation, Singh said the CAG report on coal block allocation should have been discussed in Parliament and Public Accounts Committee but the Opposition chose to cause disruptions.
"We have just ended a wasted session of Parliament. Both the Houses were paralysed because CAG has issued a report which rightly or wrongly has certain allegations about public functionaries," Singh told reporters outside Parliament shortly after the end of Monsoon Session.
BJP negated democracy: PM
Without naming BJP which disallowed functioning of Parliament by pressing for the Prime Minister's resignation, he said, "The Opposition chose not to take advantage of the subtle institutional practices dealing with the reports of CAG and insisted on disrupting Parliament. This is negation of democracy."
He asked "countrymen and countrywomen to make up their mind if this is the right way" to serve the functioning democracy.
"We take pride in the fact that since Independence, we have been a practising and functioning democracy. What we have witnessed in this session is a total negation of that.
Continuing his attack on the BJP, the Prime Minister said: "The opposition chose not to take advantage of the settled institutional practices dealing with the reports of the CAG and insisted on disrupting the Parliament."This is negation of democracy. If this thought process is allowed to gain momentum, that will be a grave violation of the norms of the parliamentary democracy," Manmohan Singh stressed.
Country facing strategic and economic problems: PM
"India is faced with many problems. There are problems of rising communal tensions; there are problems of regional and ethnic tensions. There are problems of terrorism and there are problems of Naxalism (Maoism)."He said the Parliament should have debated these issues but it was not allowed to discuss these "very important" issues before the country.
The Prime Minister also said that "the world as a whole is faced with serious economic difficulties grappling with recession and we are trying to prevent India getting affected by what is happening in the outside world".
"The Parliament should have discussed these issues... what is our economic strategy to deal with these global tensions and development." "The Parliament was not allowed to do any of these things. The result is Parliament, which is the forum where we articulate our people's felt need and grudges, was totally paralysed," he added.
"All right thinking people in our country should stand up and unitedly come up in (one) voice that, come what may, Parliamentary institutions must be allowed to function with the norms as we have known them since Independence," the Prime Minister said.
Insisting that "We have great respect for the institution of CAG", he said, "but if we do respect this institution, we must be willing to debate its finding in PAC or even on the floor of Parliament which we have always been willing."
Attacking BJP, Singh said, "The Opposition chose not to take advantage of the subtle institutional practices dealing with the reports of CAG and insisted on disrupting Parliament. This is negation of democracy."
He warned that "If this thought process is allowed to gain momentum it will be a grave violation of Parliamentary politics as we have understood."
Parliament could work only for six out of 19 days of sittings as BJP continued to demand the Prime Minister's resignation besides cancellation of coal block allotments and setting up of independent inquiry.
"We have had one wasted session. I hope Parliament can get back to business in the next session," Singh said.
"Meanwhile the Government must act wherever it can without the benefit of Parliamentary guidance," he said, adding that was "instructing all Ministries to accelerarte their consideration of critical issues where decisions are needed to get the economy moving again."
Talking about challenges on the economic front, he said India is also passing through an "exceptionally difficult phase" and its economy is experiencing problems.
PM confident of returning high growth
"We must work hard to ensure that the Indian economy returns to high growth. I have no doubt we can do it," he said, adding however that "We cannot do this if the government is constantly distracted by the actions of those who prefer obstruction over discussion."
"I urge all right minded Indians to stand up and unite against the forces of anarchy and disruption to secure the foundations of our hard earned democratic and Constitutional rights," the Prime Minister said.
He said, "those who follow this path (of disruption) detract from India’s prestige as the world’s largest Parliamentary democracy. They are unwittingly only serving the ends of those who want to weaken the country and discredit its institutions."
Contending that those who disrupt Parliament disable the voice of the people, Singh said, "We do incalculable damage to the reputation of India’s Parliament if we resort to disruption of Parliament to make a political point."
He said those disrupting Parliament take away the right of the people to hear their representatives debate issues in a reasoned manner when the case for and against a point of view can be heard.
"They (disruptive people) force them (people) to listen instead only to voices in the street, which is not the place for reasoned discourse," he underlined, adding "this is the road to a dysfunctional politics which will only produce agitational politics and a deeply divided and disenchanted country."
Talking about economic difficulties, the Prime Minister said, "We can rebuild our growth momentum and encourage entrepreneurship by stimulating investment in infrastructure, in power, in roads, ports, railways, and telecommunications."
This, he said, would send "a clear signal to the world that India is on the road to recovery" and in turn bring back the momentum of growth, generate productive employment and also enable government to direct more resources to help the poor and weaker sections.
He said the government is trying to prevent India getting affected by difficulties like recession faced by the global economy.
"Parliament should have discussed these issues. What is our economic strategy to deal with these global developments, Parliament was not allowed to do any of these things," he said.